Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Just to tempt you this September ... PS Connections UK 2016 was brilliant IMHO

A invitation to attend Connections UK 2017 (see below)
Check out the website to see if it rocks your boat ;)


Hi All,

Many thanks to everyone who completed the Connections UK 2016 feedback survey. Some comments are extracted below to encourage those still to put Connections UK 2017 in your diary:

  • “I have attended many conferences over the years. This is, perhaps, the only one I would describe as outstanding.”
  • “An excellent, thought provoking, and network-enabling event. I look forward to next year.”
  • “I came away having drunk from the most valuable fount of knowledge this side of the pond. The megagame was a great addition, which I enjoyed immensely. A fantastic quality of speakers and attendees made both presentations and networking thoroughly worthwhile. Roll on the 2017 edition!”
  • “An excellent conference that just gets better.”

We have listened to the points you raised. We can’t promulgate details because anonymity is important, but Connections UK 2017 will be 100% based on your feedback. The principal suggestions were:

  • Connections UK 2016 was generally what you wanted in terms of content, timings, frequency and location. Hence, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – just make it better!
  • You specifically asked for:
    • An update on how the UK military and Foreign Office use wargaming.
    • Time to network.
    • Another megagame.
    • A Games Fair and more hands-on sessions.
    • Worked examples of wargame design.
    • A short 101 for newcomers (only).
    • More hobby gaming and gamer involvement.
    • Presentations on wargaming in education.
    • Sessions on how to run Seminar and Matrix Games.
    • Ideas how to wargame Human Terrain.

Three comments from the Committee:

  1. While this e-mail has gone to 442 people, and Connections UK appears to be the largest gathering of wargaming professionals in the UK, we do not have any formal remit to progress wargaming. We will strive, along with Connections US, NL and Australia, to ‘Advance and Preserve the Art, Science and Application of Wargaming’. This accords with the vision of an ongoing high-level UK initiative, which is that: ‘Across Defence, Wargaming is understood and appreciated, widely and correctly applied, done well, and delivers tangible operational and business results.’ Whether via Connections UK, or a formal Defence body, it seems we are tantalisingly close to institutionalising wargaming.
  2. Several comments suggested that Seminar Wargames had been belittled at last year’s Conference. We were somewhat baffled by this as we all use, and promote, Seminar Games, so any derogatory inferences were entirely unintentional. There will be a plenary this year on Seminar and Matrix Games.
  3. The question was asked why we don’t devote more time to computer-only simulations.  While we all use computers, and argue that they are entirely complementary with manual simulations, we feel that computer simulation receives sufficient coverage elsewhere. If you want computer-based games you might be better served at ITEC/IITSEC conferences.  For the moment, Connections UK concentrates on manual simulations, high-engagement role-playing games, computer-assisted games and complementary approaches within the professional environment.

From the above, the general details, themes and broad structure for Connections UK 2017 are:

  • Connections UK Purpose. Advance and Preserve the Art, Science and Application of Wargaming.
  • Dates. Tuesday 5 – Thursday 7 September 2017.
  • Venue. Kings College London, The Strand, London, UK.
  • Approx cost. £60 (megagame/101 day) plus £135 for the two main days. This TBC but shouldn’t go up much, if at all.
  • Themes. These still to be refined, but broadly:
    • UK Tri-Service and FCO wargaming.
    • UK military wargaming doctrine.
    • Seminar and Matrix Games.
    • Hobby gaming.
    • Wargaming in education.
    • Modelling Human Terrain.
    • Designing wargames.
  • Broad structure. Something like:

Day 1. Tuesday 5 September
Wargaming 101
Informal gaming session
Day 2. Wednesday 6 September
UK military Tri-Service and FCO wargaming examples
Update on UK military wargaming doctrine
Seminar and Matrix Games
Current design ideas in hobby gaming
Games Fair session 1
Keynote speaker
Games Fair session 2
Day 3. Thursday 7 September
Wargaming in education
Modelling Human Terrain
Wargame design
Breakout workshops

Please note that there will be an earlier date for registration. We’ll let you know more details presently.



If this floats your boat why not give it a whirl


Monty said...

Blimey, this sounds full-on! Would love to attend, but sadly, that is the start of the new academic year...look forward to hearing more though.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Intense but fantastic!